A year ago I began writing this column, Catholic Schoolgirl, to tell the trials and tribulations of a socially awkward, sexually inactive not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman.
But here I am a year older (but hardly wiser), and unfortunately I am all those things still, and yet, how shall I say this — not really Catholic-y.
So why still “Catholic Schoolgirl”? Because “Quasi-Agnostic Schoolgirl” just didn’t have the same ring to it.
Don’t worry, Mom, Dad and my other Bible Belt relatives reading this — no, I have not converted to Islam just because I’m studying Arabic. Nor is this a result of my “liberal, Eastern elite education.”(Glenn Beck, what have you done to my once wise and moderate father?!)
I’ve just stopped going to church. And in terms of this column, frankly, this Mary Katherine Gallagher trope is getting a little stale. But for my fans — all five of them — I’ve kept my column’s name.
So no more stories of running into a hookup from the night before in church the next morning. I’m too old for that.
Now a junior, I’m realizing that I’m no longer excited by what was exciting freshman year: drinking vast quantities of jungle juice (the alcohol version of mystery meat) from storage containers, going out three nights in a row or attending packed basements filled with sweaty strangers rubbing against each other to “Tonight I’m F**kin’ You.”
I had this epiphany last month at Club Lau. After squeezing into a pleather mini skirt and straightening my hair (only for it to instantly frizz upon walking into the humidity chamber that is the Pierce Reading Room) I stood in line among all the whorishly dressed freshmen. Or rather, I cut the line of inferior freshmen, because I am better than them. Or so I thought, but then again, I was a junior attending Club Lau.
Because none of my friends wanted to go with me, I was in line by myself, until I ran into some male friends who had tried to get in the past three years, only to fail because they aren’t girls who can cut the long line. The rest of my friends went to a “real” party as I stood in line for an hour and a half and was threatened by a siren-wielding DPS officer.
Once in the usually quiet room, now blaring the reggae sounds of DJ Buttah, I headed straight for the table of food — because I don’t have a meal plan anymore and can’t afford Safeway. I must say, I was more of a fan of the catering than the music. I am officially an old woman.
After waiting 20 minutes for my food to digest, I hit the dance floor. It got awkward when freshman boys started asking me to dance. It was kind that they asked, though, especially compared to the basketball player who towered over me until halfway through “Party Rock Anthem” (I must not have been good at pleasuring dancing with him). I looked at these young boys (who were born in 1993! So young!) and just smiled at them pathetically. No, I would not dance with them. I’m old enough to be their cool older sister.
As the night progressed, my roommate decided to ditch the house party she and my other upperclassmen friends were attending, and the rest of my group came to Club Lau. Together we relived freshman year. Surrounded by sweating, half-naked revelers, she and I remembered that year when Lady Gaga was still cool, and we were not yet too old for such things.
Sarah Amos is a junior in the School of Foreign Service and editor of the guide. She can be reached at [email protected] Catholic Schoolgirl appears every other Friday in the guide.